Monday, October 31, 2005

all kittens adopted!

Rice, Suede, White Gold, Grey, Bronze and Bonnet have all gone to their new homes, which is great because the woman's management of everyone's feeding and cleaning times has left a lot to be desired.

for a moment there, was afraid we might have to keep Bonnet too as the girl who reserved her had to renege because of parental objection. they already have cats in the house and didn't want another one. the woman is glad however, that the family sorted that out before she took Bonnet back with her. so it seems it might be good practice to get adopters below 21(?) and still living at home to have their parents co-sign the adoption contract...

i haven't seen a more timid and human-shy kitten as little Bonnet, probably why most of the others were adopted first. then again, she has suffered quite a lot of trauma in the past 2 weeks. the car incident and then having to see her companions leave one after the other until she was the only one left in the cage condo. the woman tries her sling trick on Bonnet to get her used to human contact. it works! after sleeping soundly against her chest for about half a day, Bonnet starts to play her animal games with her, lick her fingers and curl belly up on her lap.

thank goodness someone adopted her before the woman got too attached, again. bye bye, little Bonnet.


no one replied to bobby's adoption post so guess he is with us now.

the manja cat loves to snuggle!

spot the animals

test your knowledge on the animal family. name the 4 animals in the intentionally vague (i swear!) picture below

and win a virtual dining experience at the animal family
4 out of 4: canned gourmet with rosie at the fine dining table
3 out of 4: science diet with fruity by the washing machine
2 out of 4: timothy hay with rabbeet in the utility room
1 out of 4: kfc leftovers with whoever gets there first at kitchen sink
0 out of 4: day-old lint at shower drain pipe, help yourself

answer in comments. no cheating!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Rome's new by-law aims at protecting cats, dogs and other species living in the Italian capital

"The civilization of a city can also be measured by this."
Rome dogs win right to daily walk

Rome's city council has recently come out in favor of the cat's existance in Rome by citing their ancient heritage: "There is a deep-rooted affection for these cats who have an ancient bond with the city." The city council even went so far as to protect the cats, in 2001 naming cats living in the Coliseum, the Forum and Torre Argentina a part of the city's "bio-heritage."
Rome Cats - Sanctuary amongst the Ruins of Rome
Gatti di Roma
Torre Argentina Roman Cat Sanctuary
Friends of Roman Cats - Success Stories

inspired by the article on rome cats, the woman goes in search of the heritage of Singapore's cats:

Kucinta - The Love Cat of Singapore a beautiful myth
The Singapura Singapura still recognised in some (misinformed) quarters
Why Singapore Cats Have Knotted Tails legend of local bobtails
Bobtailed and Tailless Cats geneology of asian bobtails

the search is quickly exhausted. would be nice if we get the same respect as our roman counterparts. how about someone talk to NParks on a cat sanctuary in singapore??

other interesting finds:

Action Cat free postcards & more
These Cats of Singapore touching tribute dedicated by a husband to his crazy cat lady.

Monday, October 24, 2005

true beauty

the woman has her hands full with cats by now. in quiet moments, however, she still misses maneki and the bond they had. it is unsubstitutable. non of us other cats look at her in that same way.

but she learns to find joy again in the unique ways that we respond to her. the way i purr when she rubs my exposed belly and paws. the way fruity loves to be held. the way rosie flops on the floor for attention. yet she is still looking for that elusive bond that has gone away.

a stray 1 and a half month old kitten appears downstairs for the first time. after saving it from the rough play of tomcat and tibby, it follows the man upstairs and they decide to keep it for the night to have it fed, washed and dewormed. with all available territories taken up by kittens, rabbits and us, the woman creates a cloth sling and the kitten falls into a deep sleep against her chest for the entire night.

in the morning, they release the kitten back downstairs. it rained the previous night and the ground is all wet and muddy. they just could not walk away so they bring it back upstairs and put up another adoption notice for Bobby. He is named Bobby after a previous observation by the man that most resident neighbourhood ugly male strays are called Bobby - with affection. one at the pasir ris fisherman's village, the other at the holland village coffee shop. they are dogs of course but it still seems like a fitting name for the grubby odd-looking critter. glad i am no longer at the bottom of the food chain.

but he is a sly one. like maneki & me, he plays a different card. when the woman has to go for a birthday party, he follows her to far east plaza then to plaza park royal happily in the sling cloth. the way he looks at her, paws her chin and curls up with abandonment touch her deeply.

they are apprehensive about keeping another cat permanently. but realistically, Bobby has little chance of being adopted. From experience with the kittens and much of real life, everyone goes for good looks.

how futile the pursuit of beauty because people are unprepared for how quickly the euphoria of owning it dissipates. they are left asking for more and don't know what that could be. but to be touched to your core by a deep steadfast connection raises the bar on what is true beauty that you wouldn't look back from and stays with you a long long time.

Friday, October 21, 2005

the fun never stops

fruity's godfather (yes, how come i don't have one?) leaves our place at 4am after a late night. when he and the man enjoy one last smoke downstairs, they see a tiny kitten run under a parked car. worried, they peek underneath only to discover that the kitten has climbed into the engine.

they call the crazy cat lady down and they spend an hour trying to lure the kitten out. it is well and truly stuck. it doesn't help that the car is installed with a body kit and sitting on a hump. the woman can barely get her head in underneath but sees nothing. 5am and dead tired, they wonder what they are going to do:

1) leave note on car - it is a sunday and there is a high chance the owner might sleep in. the kitten might fry under the hot sun.

2) keep luring the kitten until the owner comes - less sleep, same conclusion.

3) rock and lift the car - go to jail

4) track down owner

crazy as it sounds, that is what they do. seeing an SPF decal on the car as well as some related paraphernalia, the woman calls the police (not the emergency line la) to see if they can track down the owner (possibly a police man) by licence number.

the officers who drop by are cool. as soon as they hear the kitten meow, they are just as anxious to help it get out. but it is still rather a funny story that begs to be told.

the first patrol car comes by and the 2 officers call in the screening of the car after verifying the details of the 'case'. half hour later, another patrol car and 2 more officers drop by. (they called for back-up) by then, there is word from hq that the screening system is down so the 4 officers make a go of it and start rocking the car to see if they can dislodge(?) the kitten.

at 6.30am, the owner of the car shows up. it doesn't happen everyday that you see 4 policemen rocking your car downstairs when you are brushing your teeth. he quickly releases the bonnet and we rescue Bonnet from it. The charcoal-coloured kitten is scared shitless.

sometime during the night between the arrival of the first patrol car and the second, a cleaner comes round to see what is going on. he tells the civilian rescue squad about a box of kittens left out in the corridor of a neighbouring block. the woman and friend go check it out and indeed, find a box of 5 kittens wallowing in their own diarrhea and vomit. they remove the kittens immediately into a proper carrier. when Bonnet is rescued, she is placed with the kittens and they all drive straight to the vet.

the kittens are now up for adoption. hope they all find good homes soon.

polar cats

by now, the man and woman are quite certain they want to add more cats to the animal family. they search the cat welfare website and debate between full grown cats (woman's choice) or kittens (man's choice).

as usual, woman wins and she goes off to visit Baby Blue, Rosie and Snow White at their fosterer's. She is thoroughly impressed when she gets there. Not only by the gorgeous 2 yr old cats with their beautiful pure white coats but the fosterer who cares for 13 cats and a dog at home as well as the strays in her neighbourhood. talk about an animal family! and what is truly extraordinary? her apartment is spotless from daily relentless cleaning! we could use some of that gusto over here. maneki would agree.

the fosterer helps take the 3 cats back to our place. fruity freaks out immediately and goes into hiding (these are big cats). i think it is futile to fight the inevitable. much prefer to watch and see how i play this situation.

snow white reacts appallingly to the new environment, she burrows into a cabinet and hides behind some files. so it doesn't work out for snow white.

baby blue and rosie take to the woman and roam easily around the apartment sniffing and rubbing their chins everywhere. it looks like there might really be permanent additions to the family very soon. it has been far too optimistic of fruity to think that this is going to be a 2 cat family. i know the crazy cat lady. all i ask is that these cats be entertaining.

unfortunately, rosie is a regular pokemon, everyone is highly strung with the change and she is going around trying to make friends. when we all hiss and growl in return, including baby blue, she slinks away with a wounded bleat and tries again. baby blue, well, he looks promising. i decide to focus my energies on him and watch him closely.

the fosterer leaves with snow white, leaving baby blue and rosie here on trial. shortly after to my disappointment, baby blue disappears under the bed and stays put there. rosie continues to try and make friends. the woman thinks she is a shoe-in so i start to pin all my hopes on baby blue. get your ass out of there and show us what you got.

and he does. after an hour under the bed, the polar bear of a cat comes out and starts picking a fight. with us, with the woman, with the fridge. he hisses at everything, including air. he would hiss and we would all stare at what he is hissing at and there would be nothing there. i like spunk. this is looney. the only thing he doesn't hiss at is Leafty, he even licks him on the head. what is it about that white rabbit?

but one thing is for certain, baby blue is not liking this place one bit.

the woman decides to give him time but shortly after, he is bashing rosie, fruity and me on sight. the woman packs him back in the carrier and sends him home before anyone got hurt.

so here i am stuck with hello kitty and pokemon. and they are both lookers. i am screwed.

but it is much like me to make the best of a situation so i let rosie lick me which she loves to do. who doesn't need a little love now and then? fruity still runs when rosie comes too close. don't blame her, the feeling is much like a 4-tonner bearing down on a volkswagon. and you are the volkswagon.

crazy cat lady

listen to the guru, action is a good cure for grief, but there are limits, peoples!

man and woman comes back from supper and a cat comes up to them for attention. they recognise it as the sweet young 'village bicycle', having been seen frequently mounted by tomcat and tibby. since this presents a rare window of opportunity, they catch it and bring it upstairs with the intention of sterilising it the next day.

but once they get it home, her big round eyes win them over and they start to think that they might keep it to fill that big old empty place the grand dame left behind. so confusion begins.

before they admit the cat for operation, they have it tested for virus for the sake of fruity and me at home. the results test positive for leukemia and this throws everything out of whack. the vet advices against sterilisation because there is a high chance of complications after the operation. not an issue if the cat is to be kept permanently indoors. what could be done is to deworm and vaccinate it against other diseases, as well as vaccinate all the other cats at home against the virus.

the man and woman rush home to get fruity and me back to the clinic. to their chargrin, the vet then tells them that the vaccination for leukemia is known to cause tumours in cats. it is also not a 100% guarantee and it is best to keep the cat with virus permanently away from the healthy ones.

the man and woman are utterly confused at this point. is it too much to ask for the vet to provide all necessary information up front so that a decision can be properly made? the man asks the vet for statistics on tumours after vaccination but she doesn't have it on hand. so how much of what she is saying is a real risk or just to cover her ass??

keep or don't keep? keep, they subject us to risk and themselves to a lifetime of logistics separating all of us; don't keep, the cat will be out there spreading the virus and having litter after litter of sick cats. WTF!

coincidentally, cat welfare person calls the woman at this time in answer to her previous enquiry about sterilisation of strays. their simple advice (if only sooner) would be to sterilise the cat anyway and then release her. they have sterilised many strays, all with high risk of leukemia and complications after surgery are rare. also, the stray cats that have been in contact with her would already have been infected anyways, like it or not.

logical common sense that the woman is angry with herself for not arriving at sooner. problem is, she is reluctant to let leukemia go. see, she even named it.

but it is too late, leukemia cannot be sterilised until one week after vaccination.

with their very cramped quarters, the man and woman are not confident of enforcing a proper quarantine for a whole week. they release leukemia back downstairs and hope to catch it again when the time comes.

my turn

so the old girl has left us. sneaking a pee in her litter box is not half as fun now but there it still sits.

for a while there i have been quite convinced the chronicles of the dysfunctional animal family has come to an end. after all, it should be happily ever after for fruity and me, having finally come out from under the punitive regime of the grand old dame.

then a sequence of events has compelled me to pick up where she left off. and to understand some of her angst.

ordinarily, i would leave the heavy lifting to my apprentice. but on second thoughts, hello kitty here could make us all sound like sanriotown or sesame street characters. neither are acceptable. the old girl would turn.

Monday, October 17, 2005

life after Maneki

thank you so much for all your kind words. i am happy that Maneki touched all your lives too as she did mine.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Maneki left us on 11 Oct 2005 3.20pm

she took a turn for the worse the next day. even with the heat pads and oxygen tank, she couldnt breathe and couldnt get her temperature up.

when we arrived at the hospital, she knew right away, made her tiny squeaking sound and tried to get up to greet us. she couldn't and slumped back down. as i stroked her, all she could do was answer me with a tail wag. it kept wagging as i stroked and spoke to her.

the vet told us it was time to let her go because she was in a lot of pain. the only things keeping her alive was the drip and the oxygen tank. it is with much anguish that we could accept that such a precious creature could not stay with us longer. we were supposed to take her home today! and it hasn't even been a year that we have had the joy of knowing her.

but she shouldnt have to suffer needlessly. goodbye my maneki, i love you so much.

In Memory of Maneki Neko

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

sickly me II

they come visit me the next day and i wish they didn't. i am exhausted, stressed and scared shitless.

apparently, my kidneys have completely collapsed, causing major toxin build-up in the body, infecting the lungs. this news distresses the man and woman greatly. the best the vets can do is to pump me with antibiotics and drip me to rehydrate the kidneys, hopefully to flush the toxins and bring my kidney values back down closer to normal.

the woman gets more and more upset as i continue to huddle at the back of the cage unresponsive. it doesn't help that a couple of cage doors down, a family is saying their final goodbyes to a goner cat. the whole room rings with silent prayers and misery.

the day vet drops in. full results are still out until they complete the in-hospital treatment. but with my kidneys gone, the man and woman are very likely looking at a lifelong commitment to drip me daily.

they have concerns about whether this may be artificially prolonging my life and cause me more suffering but the vet reassures otherwise. there is no doubt that the man and woman will do it but it weighs on them whether they are doing it for me or for them.

the following day, the woman visits me again. i am snoozing but hop up with a squeak when i hear her. i miss her and her fawnings and get a big dose of it. I would also have gladly escaped the cage if she hasn't stopped me. i forget i am still attached to the drip.

the vet comes round again and has good news. my kidney levels have dropped. i even ate today. this reaffirms the woman's convictions to help me live with the drip.

the woman's mood is also lightened when little puppy lounging just inside of the grill in the top cage pees and it drips down directly onto my head. glad she thinks it is so funny. she informs the orderly to watch the problem and cleans me up.

i sulk when i realise the woman isn't there to take me home and leaves without me. hopefully my tests tomorrow prove positive and i can get out of this depressing place.

sickly me

on and off i haven't been eating well for the past month. it all catches up on me one day and the woman finds me gasping for breath in a corner of the room when she wakes up. with more efficiency than usual, they call a cab, bundle me in a blanket and take me to the emergency clinic at mount pleasant.

they thought i might resist the prolonged manhandling as i usually do, but i don't. i sit quietly in the woman's arms and she grows gradually more and more afraid.

at the clinic, the smell is overpowering. when i am let down to stretch my leg, i choose a spot underneath the visitor's chair as i watch sick animals come and go until the vet is ready to see me. the vet pegs me for a cat way over 10 years old and gives a preliminary diagnosis of respitory and renal malfunction. he recommends that i be hospitalised for various tests as well as to be put on a drip immediately to rehydrate the kidneys.

the woman is reluctant to leave me all alone in the cold strange place but hasn't much choice about it. they leave to join friends and the woman gets emotional there thinking about the empty spot on the study table where i lay claim.

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